Increases in coronavirus cases have already forced several restaurants and bars to close.
If you’re thinking about taking a trip to Ocean City to get away, you might want to stay home. The number of confirmed cases of coronavirus in the vacation beach town has been ticking up in the last week.
According to data from Johns Hopkins, Worcester County, where Ocean City is located, has added 117 cases in the past seven days, almost 200 percent higher than at the beginning of July. At least 12 restaurants have had to close temporarily because one or more staff members tested positive.
Statewide, the number of cases has edged up while hospitalizations have continued to decline. The largest increase in cases has been in people under 35, those more likely to congregate in bars and restaurants. The most recent restaurant plagued by the virus is Seacrets. The restaurant closed its dining rooms and tested all staff on July 24 after announcing employees had tested positive for the coronavirus. The restaurant ended up reopening on a limited basis one day later.
People reluctant to give up their summer vacation plans are still coming to Ocean City despite concerns of contracting the virus. Businesses in Worcester County aren’t required to close or notify the public if an employee tests positive for the virus. They are under the same regulations as the rest of state, including a maximum of 50 percent occupancy and wearing face masks in public indoor spaces.
Ocean City has posted signs and notices on public streets, sidewalks, and other locations advising people to practice social distancing. City officials recommend visitors try to avoid crowds and visit popular places like the Boardwalk early in the morning. There is not a mandate in place that requires anyone to wear a mask in public outdoor spaces, including th beach, but people are encouraged to wear them. The city is also asking people to wash their hands and stay home if they feel sick.